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Over 5,000 textile traders join strike against GST, textile stores down shutters

Jamshedpur , June 15 : Under the banner of Jamshedpur Wholesale Cloth Merchant Association over 5,000 small and big textile traders of steel city observed a day long strike today to oppose the 5 per cent GST on textiles. All wholesale textile stores in Jugsalai, Bistupur and Sakchi downed shutters.

“Though since independence textiles ( not readymade) have been exempted from all sorts of taxes. The GST of 5 per cent will increase woes of the traders. We demand rollback of GST in textiles,” said Anil Modi, vice-president of the association.

Another senior functionary of the association and a textile trader Kamal Jalansaid the GST would also bad affecton the retailers ” I am of the onion that taxing small-time merchants will hit them hard as they do not have proper computer knowledge to upload bills and maintain accounts,” he explained.

Moreover, the traderswant the government to insulate textiles from the tax. So far,textiles (not readymade) have been exempted from all sorts of taxes.“The GST will be a bolt from the blue for us,” say the cloth
merchants.

“We are not opposing the GST. But, we want the government to levy thetax at the production stage only. The consumer will be burdenedheavily if the tax is levied at every level, such as wholesaler,dealer, and retailer,” an official of the association.

The GST would adversely affect the retailers, most of whom aresmall-time vendors. More than 80% of the people buy cloth materialfrom the local merchants. Taxing these small-time merchants will hit
them hard as they do not have proper computer knowledge to uploadbills and maintain accounts, he says.

The traders are also apprehensions that the GST would adversely affecttheir business as it would jack up the prices significantly.

The GST Council has proposed 4% tax on yarn, 4% on dying and printingunits, and an additional 5% in case the cloth material has extra work like embroidery.

Under the new regime, readymade garments will be taxed at 12%. Inaddition, 5% tax is proposed to be levied on retailers who have anannual turnover of more than Rs20 lakh per annum.As a result, we will be forced to pass on the burden to thecustomers. A saree that normally costs 1,000 would be priced morethan 1,040 after GST.

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